to all of the mothers



A genealogy of the surname Bagby is dedicated to all of the mothers within these reports who lost young children. To begin to name them all, would do an injustice, because there are so many, and I would certainly, by error, exclude someone. The loss of a child, to any parent is devastating. It has well been said, "We expect to bury our parents, but we do not expect to bury our children".

One mother in particular, I have chosen to name, because I wish to quote her, is Anne Ellen Luther [Bagby], wife of Rev. William Buck Bagby, D.D. They are known through history and in books as "The Bagby's of Brazil". Through their sacrifice for the ministry of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and their unending zeal for the country of Brazil, they lost four children.

A letter written by Anne informing her family about the death of one of their children, John Zollie Bagby, can be found in the notes under John Zollie Bagby, in the register report of James Bagby. It describes the agony parents experience at the passing of a child. However, just five months after the death of John Zollie Bagby, Anne penned these words:

I would rather my children die now than be even cold Christians. I want them to be afire with love to Jesus. God grant that we may, none of us, grow cold or indifferent in His service. If I must be kept warm by losing what I love best, I cannot ask otherwise.


After the death of their son, Luther Bagby, Anne penned these words:

I'll trust Him to keep my Luther and me,
To bring us together at last,
Where mothers and babes forever shall be,
With Jesus — their sorrows all passed.



The following are words to an ancient song, entitled "Little Bessie"
Author: Unknown — Melody: Traditional

Hug me closer, Mother, closer, put your arms around me tight,
for I am cold and tired dear Mother, yet, I feel so strong tonight.
Something hurts me here dear Mother, like a stone upon my breast,
oh I wonder, Mother, wonder, why it is I cannot rest.

All the day while you were working, as I lay upon my bed,
I was trying to be patient, and to think of what you said.
How the King, dear blessed Jesus, loves His lambs to watch and keep,
oh, I wish He would come and take me, in His arms that I might sleep.

Just before the lamps were lighted, just before the children came,
while the room was very quiet, I heard someone call my name.
All at once a window opened, on a field of lambs and sheep,
some far out in a brook were drinking, some were lying fast asleep.

In a moment I was looking, on a world so bright and fair,
which was filled with little children, and they seemed so happy there.
They were singing oh so sweetly, sweetest songs I ever heard,
they were singing sweeter, Mother, than our darling little birds.

But I could not see the Savior, tho' I strained my eyes to see,
and I wondered if He saw me, would He speak to such as me.
All at once a window opened, one so bright upon me smiled,
and I knew it must be Jesus, when He said, "Come here my child".

"Come up here my little Bessie, come up here and live with me,
where little children never suffer, never suffer through eternity".
Then I thought of all you'd told me, of that bright and happy land,
I was going when you called me, when you came and kissed my hand.

And at first I felt so sorry, you had called and I would go,
oh, to sleep and never suffer, Mother, don't be crying so.
Hug me closer, Mother, closer, put your arms around me tight,
oh, how much I love you, Mother, and how strong I feel tonight.

And the Mother pressed her closer, to her own dear burdened breast,
on the heart so near its breaking, lay the heart so near its rest.
At the solemn hour of midnight, in the darkness calm, and deep,
lying on her Mother's bosom, little Bessie fell asleep.



more about this family may be viewed on this site at: William Buck Bagby family